Iran General NewsIran says Indian oil funds freed in Germany -agency

Iran says Indian oil funds freed in Germany -agency

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Reuters: Iran has secured the release of some funds that India had paid for Iranian oil and that had been frozen in Germany, a news agency reported.

TEHRAN, April 29 (Reuters) – Iran has secured the release of some funds that India had paid for Iranian oil and that had been frozen in Germany, a news agency reported.

“When Iran sells its oil to a country, it should be able to receive the payments,” the Central Bank of Iran’s governor, Mahmoud Bahmani, was quoted as saying by Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency.

“One of these transactions was related to India, which had to pay for Iran’s oil … but Germany blocked the money. A part of this money which had been blocked, has been released now and the rest will be released in the future,” Bahmani said, without giving further details.

In December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that oil trade payments to Iran could no longer be settled using a long-standing clearing house system run by regional central banks.

The White House, which wants governments to stop dealing with Iran because of its nuclear programme, praised the move.

Iran already faces sanctions from the United Nations over its nuclear programme, and though the sanctions do not ban purchases of crude oil, Washington has been lobbying governments and companies to stop dealings with Tehran.

Germany agreed in March to help India settle payments to Iran via Hamburg-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH, European-Iranian Trade Bank) but later announced that handling the money through the bank had been halted.

The move followed discussions between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Indian government in which India said it was moving to a new payment method, a German official said earlier this month.

India pays some 9 billion euros ($12.77 billion) a year for purchases of Iranian oil.

The United States, Israel and the European Union suspect Iran is seeking to acquire atomic weapons. The Islamic state denies the allegations and insists its programme is for peaceful energy needs. (Writing by Ramin Mostafavi; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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